Here’s a photo from early morning on 1st September 2018… one of those perfect Autumn mornings when the mist settles under the Downs, the trees are turning and there’s a nip in the air.
Got to love Autumn… view this image at full size on Flickr.
We were contacted by reader of the Bepton Down blog who asked about a helicopter crash when he was a schoolboy. “Does anyone remember the helicopter that crashed on Bepton Down in the mid 1960s? I was a boarder at Midhurst Grammar School at the time and went to see the crashed remains up there on the hillside a couple of days after it happened.”
Richard Stephenson would like to know if anyone can remember any more details about this tragic accident? Please get in touch if you have any memories or information about the crash so we can pass them on to Richard and share with others. At the front of my mind are the two crew lost their lives that day – it would be good to remember these men as part of the history of Bepton Down.
Continue reading “Helicopter Crash on Bepton Down”
60 years of decline at Bepton Down SSSI
Bepton Down is 14 hectares of unique chalk grassland on the north face of the South Downs overlooking Bepton. It’s a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and an area of national importance.
Continue reading “Poor management of Bepton Down SSSI on The South Downs”
Bepton Down SSSI should be a unique area of chalk downland in West Sussex – but it isn’t.
Bepton Down is just below The South Downs Way on a north facing slope with stunning views towards Midhurst and beyond. It should be 14 hectares of extraordinary habitat, home to protected species of plants and grasses – and one of the few remaining areas of chalk downland in West Sussex.
Even though Bepton Down has an SSSI status it has been neglected and it is now reverting to a mixture of scrub, wasteland and coarse vegetation. The steady decline of this SSSI has been overseen by Cowdray Estate and regulated by Natural England.
Please help me raise awareness about the decline of Bepton Down by sharing this article.
Continue reading “Decline of an SSSI on the South Downs”
South Downs Bee Orchid
How about this for a stunning little orchid!? When I see British wild flowers like this I marvel at how wonderful nature can be. Goodness knows how or why this little flower evolved to look like a bee, but that’s only half of the mystery of the bee orchid.
Continue reading “Bee Orchid on Bepton Down”
Pyramidal orchids on an evening in June
Thursday evening is my favourite time of the week.
Continue reading “Watching the sun go down”
A big white white orchid that looks like a hyacinth!
The start of the season saw a few setbacks with very few Early Purple Orchids or Cowslips. But things have improved a little and there are now lots of Common Spotted Orchids, Twayblades and these lovely Greater Butterfly Orchids.
Continue reading “Greater Butterfly Orchid on Bepton Down”
Bepton Down Orchids
I’ve written before about the plight of Bepton Down. This year the Down has struggled. It’s an SSSI but the weather and some land management problems caused some problems for the early flowers. There were very few Cowslips and the Early Purple Orchids just didn’t show at all.
Continue reading “June Orchids on Bepton Down”
Bepton Down, down in the dumps
30 Days Wild is an opportunity to make room for nature this June – no matter where you are or how busy your life is! Make this the month when you do something wild every day.
Continue reading “Bepton Down SSSI”
King Alfred’s Cake Fungus
Here’s a photo of the inedible fungus Daldinia Concentrica which is most commonly known as “King Alfred’s Cake”. They’re all over the place near us, growing mostly on dead and decaying wood, especially ash trees.
Continue reading “King Alfred’s Cakes”